June 28, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - The 2012 season was a step forward for the Green Wave baseball program. After finishing near the bottom Conference USA standings the two prior seasons, Tulane finished the C-USA season 14-10 and won six of their eight conference series' to place third in the standings.
The team's success was a mix of offense, pitching and defense, with TU finishing among the top-three in the conference in nearly every major category. They led C-USA in team defense, batting average, doubles, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, while ranking third in earned run average. Tulane allowed the second fewest runs to cross the plate, won the third most games and ranked second in five offensive categories.
Tulane ranked in the top-three in 13 major offensive categories in Conference USA during the 2012 season. These rankings were a turnaround from the 2011 season when Tulane sat among the bottom ten on nearly every offensive chart.
The Olive and Blue won six of their eight Conference USA series during the season. Their only two series losses came to the two teams ahead of them in the standings and Tulane won all four of their road series'. It was just the second time in school history that a team had won all of their road series' in C-USA play. The only other time came in 2000 when that squad won all five of their road series.
As a team, Tulane ranked among the top-25 in five categories in the final NCAA rankings. Tulane owned the 11th best fielding percentage, was 13th in on-base and 17th in slugging percentage, sat 19th in batting average and was 24th in doubles. The pitching staff sat 45th in ERA and their winning percentage of .655 was 36th overall in the NCAA.
Tulane posted its lowest staff ERA since the 1980 season when they finished the year at 3.38 in 514.1 innings. The mark is the 13th best mark since 1965 and is the best in the Rick Jones era. On the offensive side, TU hit over .300 as a team for the second time since 2006 and their .398 on-base percentage was the highest since the 2005 slate.
The duo of Brandon Boudreaux and Jeremy Schaffer highlighted the awards from the 2012 season, with both players earning CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America honors and First Team All-Conference USA. Boudreaux carried a 3.66 GPA in management, while Schaffer graduated with a degree in finance and a 3.31 GPA. Both players were also named First Team All-Conference USA, Academic All-District and Academic All-C-USA.
The trio of D.J. Ponder, Jeremy Schaffer and Nick Schneeberger all had solid senior seasons and earned multiple postseason awards. Schaffer was named First Team All-Conference USA and First Team All-State, Ponder earned First Team All-State and Second Team All-C-USA and Schneeberger was a Second Team pick to the All-C-USA and All-State teams.
Schaffer ended his career as one of the most decorated players in school history, earning three First Team All-C-USA awards, grabbing All-America honors and ranking among the top-ten in school history in a handful of categories. The senior ranks among the top-20 in conference history in home runs and RBIs, while sitting among the school's career leaders in homers, RBI, games started, doubles, at-bats and sacrifice flies.
Brennan Middleton had a breakout year at the plate in 2012 as the shortstop posted career-highs in at-bats, hits, doubles, runs scored, total bases and sacrifice hits. Middleton blew by his previous career best of 45 hits, collecting 70 in 2012, and doubled his runs scored mark by crossing the plate 45 times. He laid down 11 sacrifice hits - fourth best in a single season - and his 180 assists are 11th most in one season.
Boudreaux set a new school record for individual C-USA awards this season when he earned three Hitter of the Week selections. The junior ended the season with a career-best .330 average, 56 runs scored, 14 doubles, 36 RBIs and 33 walks.
After making just 27 appearances during his first three seasons, Ponder appeared in 27 games during his senior campaign and moved his name into the record books with a 12-save campaign. The right-hander ranks sixth all-time with 13 career saves and is tied for fifth with Joey Charron on the single season saves chart.
In the starting rotation, Alex Byo became the first player since 2008 to claim nine or more wins in a season. The junior was 9-4 overall and did not lose a start in his final eight outings of the year. Byo fanned 50 batters and walked just 19 in 90.2 innings of work during the 2012 campaign, all career-bests.